“I’m all over the place,” Heavenasia, 16, confessed when I asked how she was feeling over a FaceTime call on Tuesday. “I feel trapped. I feel old. There isn’t anything working for me.” The FaceTime connection is fuzzy enough that it takes me a moment to realize she was crying. Rare.
Heavenasia has Hidradenitis Suppurativa. A genetic disorder that her father also has. “How can he just leave me with this?” she wept. “This is all I get from my father? A disease that I could rot away from?” She sits quietly with her hard truth.
Between domestic violence, illness, and bullying about her weight, Heavenasia’s young life was and is rife with suffering. She has been isolated during this Covid-19 crisis as if her life depends upon it —because it does. While her mother drives double shifts for the Metro, Heavenasia stays in a 3-room apartment on the sixth floor with her siblings.